Here’s another charcoal sketch from rehearsals of Henry IV for the just-opened production at Bath. Ben Mansfield plays the fiery Harry Hotspur. Pouring over the map of England, dividing it up between the ‘rebels’ he doesn’t like the size of his share. “Methinks my moiety north of Burton here…” (type these words into Google to see the rest of the speech)
Archive for July, 2011
Today our drawing club went on a ‘Plein Air’ trip to sketch in the park in the summer sun. Being sleepy on a Saturday morning, I didn’t pack proper equipment and had to improvise. I was going to use ‘mixed media’ (eye-shadow and lipstick), but then I found a few tubes of acrylic and a half-bald brush in the bottom of my bag. I used a paper bag from the park cafe as my palette and a bottle of mineral water for…water. Back home I photographed it and added some stuff on the computer.
This is my first try at doing a sketch of my father Sir Peter Hall, during rehearsals- a process he adores and where he has spent so much of his life. I was grappling with the difficulty of making his likeness as he gesticulated and talked with the actors, consulted the text, perhaps now and then referring to the fight designer or stage designer across the room, or the Shakespeare scholar in the corner. For his part he was grappling with the difficulty of staging Henry IV P2. It’s just a little sketch – not perfect. But I think it conveys something of him in the thick of his creative process.
Just a sketch of a face with eyes whose colour I cannot describe.
I bought two pots of ink at the V&A ‘Cult of Beauty’ exhibition - and have been experimenting with the kind of loose blotchy look that people used to do with oil/wax materials overlaid with water based inks and paints in the 50s and 60s. Henry Moore was one of the most brilliant. The random quality is exhilarating.
This is a quick sketch- the last I’m posting in this actors series- of Philip Voss, rehearsing as Worcester in Henry IV P1 [Scene III, London, The Palace] which will be playing at Theatre Royal, Bath this summer.
More sketches of actors- this is Robert East as Owen Glendower. My sketchbook is full of smatterings of lines that I wrote down as I heard them spoken. The actor I was drawing wasn’t necessarily speaking the line – they were just snatches of text that caught my ear.
This is Wendy Morgan, eyes downcast on the book as she reads the part of Doll Tearsheet, Henry IV P2,in rehearsal for the production at Theatre Royal, Bath. Even with a rambunctious comic part like that, you can see from her face how serious an undertaking this is.
I’m back from a few weeks summer recess to find it’s raining in London. Ah well. There’s a lot going on here, and nobody ever loved London for the weather…
Before going away, I spent some time sketching the actors in rehearsal for Henry IV Part 1 & 2, which my father Sir Peter Hall is doing at Theatre Royal, Bath. Here is Tom Mison, who plays Hal, as he ascends the throne in P2.
I had to sketch fast – the actors wouldn’t keep still! In some ways I think my sketches during the first read-through (actors, director, designer, assistants and stage management gather round a table to read from the book) are the best. The actors look down, with an almost devotional, breathless look on their faces, as they speak the text together for the first time and it begins to take life. I’ll post some of these sketches soon. Three digital sketches- more formal ones done on my computer - are being published in the theatre programme and I’m looking forward to seeing them when I see the plays next week.